The Rapid Specialised Intervention Team (RSIT) successfully intervened and released a trapped bear from a snare

On 24th of July, the Protocol of Intervention on emergency situations involving wildlife was initiated in Hunedoara County. The RSIT, consisting of FFI rangers, our wildlife veterinarian and Mountain Gendarmes responded to a 112 emergency service call in the Polatişte area. The administrator of the hunting concession reported finding the bear trapped in a snare, and the game keepers supported the team in addressing this dangerous incident.

The bear was highly stressed, creating a potentially dangerous situation. However, the team successfully anesthetized and released the bear, following a welfare assessment and collection of biometric data. The adult male bear was estimated to be 3.5 years old, weighing around 150 kilos. Despite being snared around the abdomen for an estimated period of more than 12 hours, there appeared to be no acute injuries and the bear was deemed to be suitable for release after. The anesthesia, welfare assessment and release took no more than 45 minutes.

Hunting with unauthorized traps is illegal under Law 407/2006, and is punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years. The police are now investigating this illegal action.

The Rapid Specialised Intervention Team was established through the LIFE Connect Carpathians project, and consists of staff from Fauna & Flora International, Gendarmerie Inspectorate ‘Decebal’ of Hunedoara County and Zarand Association with support from the Ministry of Environment.

The framework and protocol for implementing the Rapid Specialised Intervention Team was established under the authority of Hunedoara County Prefect. The protocol for addressing emergency incidences with wildlife has been approved and incorporated by the County statutory institutions who are responsible for wildlife. This is a first for Romania, demonstrating good practice that has the potential for roll-out to other counties that face similar problems.